History of Corstorphine Curling
Club and of Corstorphine Ladies Curling Club
The first recorded meeting of Corstorphine Curling Club was on Christmas Day 1829 with 20 members, though there is evidence that folk met before this. Originally the curlers were from the farming community, but as Corstorphine grew, local tradesmen joined. The first match against another club was on 28 February 1838. Currie won by 3 shots! By 1837 Corstorphine Loch had been completely drained and curling took place on any available frozen piece of water. So it was decided to build an artificial pond. Located on farmland between Clermiston House and the Parish Road (Drum Brae), it was fed from the Bughtlin Burn (now covered over), and a building was constructed to store the stones. In 1864-65 the Club built a new pond at the same location.
The OS map of 1894 shows 2 curling ponds located on the north side of Durar Drive approximately opposite the Drum Brae Care Home (formerly the site of Drum Brae Primary School) and calls them "Corstorphine Curling Ponds". In October 1908 the ponds were repaired and restored and in 1930 electric lighting was installed.
But the game relied on the weather and, for example, the winter of 1881-82 was too mild so there was no curling! With the warming of the climate the need for indoor facilities became apparent and in 1912 the first indoor curling rink opened at Lochrin. It closed in 1915 but by then one had opened at Haymarket on land acquired from John Swan & Sons Cattle Market (now the site of Roseberry House) who agreed to move to Gorgie. Clubs at Murrayfield still compete for the 'Swan' Trophy.
Corstorphine, however, continued to play on its own outdoor ponds off Drum Brae. The minutes of its AGM in October 1913 declare "Owing to the want of frost several matches had to be played at the Ice Rink". By the winter of 1918-19 due to a "less favourable climate" the club applied for a regular booking. But it wasn't until 1953 that the club gave up the lease on its outdoor ponds, which suggests they continued to be used when the weather was favourable.
The 1930s saw a large increase of participants in the sport and the main rink at Murrayfield was completed in 1939. Both skaters and curlers used it, though not until 1951 as it was requisitioned for war use as soon as it was opened! Haymarket closed after the 1978-79 season and was replaced in 1980 by the purpose-built curling rink at Murrayfield adjacent to the main ice rink. Today around 100 clubs play at Murrayfield coming from places such as Peebles, East Linton, Livingston and Uphall, as well as Corstorphine.
In 1962 the ladies of Corstorphine Curling Club, led by Elspeth Young, pushed for the formation of a Ladies Section. "That this club form a Ladies Section" was passed "unanimously" by the men! However the ladies still could not attend meetings, nor vote. In 1983 the ladies decided to break away and form their own club and so Corstorphine Ladies Curling Club was born. Some notable members at that time were Irene Lyall and Myra MacDonald and some of our trophies are in their memory.
Though now played inside, the curling season still runs from approximately the end of September to the end of March. At the beginning of every season Corstorphine CC (the men) play an opening bonspiel against Corstorphine Ladies CC, an enjoyable, fun occasion. However in recent years the men have welcomed the return of the women so once again it is a mixed club, but now the ladies are equals!!
The role of women at a curling match!! - See Photogallery